View Full Version : 120 roll film spool with wooden shaft

09-15-2009, 02:43 PM
I have an Agfa spool for what looks like 120 film and the center shaft is made out of wood. Anybody have an idea about when these were made/used? Thanks, Bill Barber

09-15-2009, 02:51 PM
Might be 620 or one of the 'older' sizes. I recall having seen something similar but can't date it.

09-15-2009, 08:32 PM
Seems to be the same width as 120 and the spool shaft seems to be about the same diameter. Guess I could post a photo. My guess is it came from one of my older cameras. Bill Barber

09-15-2009, 09:05 PM
I have a wooden 120 spool. They typically date from the second world war, when there were shortages of metal.

09-15-2009, 10:15 PM
Weren't they also used before the 1930s?

09-15-2009, 10:19 PM
I have a wooden 120 spool with metal ends, also Agfa. It came with an exposed roll of Agfa ISS (Isopan Super Special) on it, not that I got anything decent from developing that roll.

09-16-2009, 03:48 AM
I have a wooden one. It's definitely 120 not 620.
Mine's featured in the picture I posted for the 120 film article on wikipedia

I should re-do that picture as I have one or two metal 120 spools now as well. Got the full set! :D

Squinting at my pictures, my wooden spool is a Kodak one.

09-16-2009, 03:52 AM
I have a few of these too. I may be wrong, but I would say that it could not be 620. All the 620 spools I have ever seen have a much narrower center shaft.

09-16-2009, 04:23 AM
Agfa were definitely using at least some wood-centre 120 spools into the early/mid 1960's, I can accurately date that from the time I was first introduced to serious photography at the school darkroom.
I'm fairly sure that Kodak and Ilford were then using all-metal 120 spools, which were, of course, later replaced by the present one-piece plastic ones.

09-16-2009, 08:03 AM
My Voigtlander 'Baby Bessa' 66 came with a wood center spool. Dad gave me that camera in 1949; it was used. So, they were around then.

09-21-2009, 03:28 PM
Hello , it may be 117 format : same diameter center shaft and same center hole as 120 , but smaller edges ; these are a little smaller than 620 .
Only six photographs when used for example with first Original Rolleiflex .

09-21-2009, 03:40 PM
Just checked an old unused Agfa 120 B&W film in its original box which I have amongst my collectables, it's a wooden-centre spool, 120 size, expiry 1963. Normal 8, 12, or 16 exposure.

09-26-2009, 06:53 PM
I got a Zeiss Nettar some time last year and it had a wooden spool in it. The camera was b0rked though, so I sent it back, spool and all :(

10-04-2009, 11:59 AM
I like to play around with old Graflex SLRs. There were rollfilm backs for these in sizes to match these cameras. For instance, a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 camera would have taken Type 50 film. My 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 Graflex takes Type 51 film. It is interesting to note that the inside of the back is labeled:

4 1/4 x 3 1/4
1922 MODEL

There is a patent date of June 20, 1915. There are two empty film rolls inside with wooden cores and metal ends. I believe that this type of film was discontinued in the 1940's.

11-08-2009, 02:26 PM
I think the point of the 620 film size, and its larger brother 616, was to use slimmer spools so that the cameras could be made a bit slimmer. As part of this, the spools were made of metal from the outset (back in the early 1930's). I have never seen or heard of a 620 spool with a wooden core.

For decades 120 spools had metal ends and wooden cores but from around the 50's onwards most manufacturers were using all metal spools. I accept that Agfa apparently was an exception. I think they must have changed in the early 60's as the Agfa spools I've seen from around then were metal (they had their name engraved in the ends). Later everyone seems to have changed to all plastic spools for 120.